Archive | September 2011

The Corruptibe

I enjoyed a number of things about Mark Mynheir’s The Corruptible. First, I loved the short chapters. It was easier to justify “just one more chapter.”

I also liked the fact that it was written in the first person. I found it drew me into the story. It was more like sitting across from the protagonist, having him tell me the story, than being a distant observer. (Occasionally, the character referred to things he wouldn’t likely notice – even though he was a PI. I found it a little distracting. That’s one of the challenges of writing in first person: staying in the protagonist’s head yet giving readers enough information.)

The characters were distinct and easy to remember. There were enough of them to make the story interesting, but not so many that I got lost. (Although the only Christian character in the book played an important role, for some reason – maybe because she was the only believer – she seemed more like an extra rather than a regular cast member.)

I appreciated the fact that Mynheir didn’t sanitize the story. It was, after all, about a murder investigation and undercover police work. (I didn’t feel he pushed the bounds into the “unacceptable,” but some Christians might view The Corruptible as too edgy.)

All in all, if you enjoy police dramas such as Law and Order, Criminal Minds, and CSI, you will almost assuredly, enjoy reading The Corruptible.

I received a free electronic version of the book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.

Our Witchdoctors are Too Weak

A book about grammar, syntax, and an unwritten language. A book about missionaries in a far away jungle.

Now, before you shake your head and say, “That’s not for me,” let me tell you why this book is now one of my favourites.

Friend Number One loaned OWATW to Friend Number Two. She began to read it and immediately thought of me. (Why reading a book with a chapter titled “The Interoggation of a Suffix” makes you think of your friend the writer and editor, I can’t imagine.)

I had several books on the go, not to mention a To Do list that went on and on and on. However, when Deb dropped the book off that afternoon, I decided to take a peek. What a great decision!

From the first page, the author is all the things I admire most – not just in an author, but in a human being. Honest. Transparent. Real.

A fellow writer and I were talking yesterday. We agree that good writing is good writing no matter what the subject. On one hand, I’m willing to excuse mediocre writing if I really care about the characters. On the other, I’m willing to read a book in practically any genre if the writing carries me away. And then there are the rare and delightful finds, books with characters that draw me in and stories that transport me to another place. This is one of those books.

I’m a visual learner, and the Janks paint a vivid picture. It’s as if I’m sitting in my living room with them, watching a home movie of their adventures and hearing them tell me all about their lives among the Wilo people. Relationships are what life is all about, and I feel as if I’ve made two new friends.

With candor and humour, Davey and Marie Jank demystify what it means to reach out with love and truth. Maybe, just maybe, if they can do it, I can too.

Justified

I hope there isn’t a rule that says you shouldn’t review a book you’ve edited. If there is, I’m about to break that rule.

Mystery. Suspense. Intrigue. That’s what you’ll find in Rob Delion’s first novel, Justified.

If something stands out and makes you ask, “Why did the author include that tidbit of information?” and he or she never answers the question, it rubs like a burr under a saddle. Persistent. Distracting. Annoying.

Because I had to edit on my first read-through, I’d often ask, “Does this need to be here?” A few such things got dropped from the first draft, but many were indispensable. I loved those Ah Ha moments, coming across their importance as I continued to read.  To me, that’s craftsmanship. It requires an author to see the big picture while only letting readers see as much as they need to at any given time.

I’m a visual learner. I want enough details to paint a picture. On the other hand, I’m not all that patient. I don’t want to read a description of every rock and blade of grass. Rob has achieved that balance. Months after reading it, I can still see a slide show of scenes playing in my mind.

When I watch a movie that keeps me on the edge of my seat, I need the occasional breather. From time to time, I want to laugh – or at least exhale. Justified propels the reader forward with the right amount of downtime.

As I said to Rob, “Make me care about your characters, and I’m hooked.” I care about the characters in Justified and am looking forward to the sequel. Get busy writing, Mr. Delion.

Order your copy of Justified at either address below or pop by Rob Delion’s Facebook page and arrange for him to send you a signed copy. (You may also want to visit Rob’s blog at http://quillzone.com)

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Justified-R-H-Delion/9781770692985-item.html?ikwid=justified&ikwsec=Home

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=r.h.+delion&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Ar.h.+delion&ajr=0

Other Review Sites

Because I haven’t completed a book recently, I thought I’d point you to some other book review sites. Each is written by a fellow The Word Guild member.

Enjoy!

Susan Barclay…

http://reviewsfrominnisfree.blogspot.com/

Laura Davis…

http://interviewsandreviews.blogspot.com/

Donna Fawcett…

http://www.authordonnadawson.com/bookreviews.htm

Kimberley Payne…

http://kimpayne.wordpress.com/

Janet Sketchley…

http://janetsketchley.wordpress.com/reviews/